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Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve) - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve)Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

114 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 114
Hads: 964
Avg: 4.22
pDev: 25.36%
Wants: 81
Gots: 429 | FT: 48
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  11.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 07-02-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Malt Beverage brewed with dates, figs and cocoa nibs with 50% being aged in bourbon barrels and 12.5% with black currant added.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 114 | Hads: 964
Photo of N3rdM3t4l
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

8oz in a Deschutes glass that looks like if a red wine glass and a tulip has a sexy little glass baby.

A: pitch black with minimal mocha colored head. 11% prevents head retention some. Good ring and lacing though.

S: dark sweet fruits like fig and raisin and molasses.

T: rich and slightly sweet. Hints of dark fruits from the nose, vanilla, a hint of dark malt flavor but very slight and leaves a light coffee like aftertaste.

M: heavy and smooth. Minimal carbonation makes it feel really rich. Goes down too easy, luckily the strong flavor stops me from chugging.

O: epic just like all the BB anniversary series beers. So glad I tried it.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best After: 6/11/14

Appearance: Pours extremely dark brown and sits black in the glass. Half a finger of off white/khaki head is produced on the pour and lingers on the periphery of the glass throughout. Some sticky random lacing left behind. Still a decent amount of active carbonation.

Smell: Dark molasses and a touch of brown sugar mesh well with the bourbon notes on the front. More then I expected from the bourbon, but it is very well done and adds a warming touch on the body. Cocoa nibs provide pleasant medium bodied chocolate aromas that fit in very well. Oak and vanilla continue to come in waves and are the most memorable on the finish.

Taste: The front is a sweet, rich chocolate mousse kiss. Slightly roasted malt evens out the chocolate front. The barrel character kicks in on the body with balanced yet potent tones of vanilla, oak, cherries, and those figs add a touch of earthiness. Lingering tones of roasted malts, earthy dry figs, vanilla, and some booze rides this baby out.

Mouthfeel: Full, rich mouthfeel which still feels like a porter. Barrel character is a pleasant compliment and the figs add an interesting dryness on the palate. Carbonation is brighter then expected in a big barrel aged beer but works here.

Overall: Deschutes has executed a wonderful brew here that is absolutely aided by aging it. I had this beer fresh and it was tasty but no where near what this bottle has become. All the additives and bourbon character has had time to settle and mesh together perfectly. I could see this beer still sitting wonderfully for a long time.

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Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Finally after 6-10-14!!!

A - Darker than many stouts. Tall brown head, especially for high ABV and after long aging.

S - Raisin, bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, fruit.

T - Sweet, sour, bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, fruit, fig. Some interestingly barleywine like qualities that are difficult for me to put a finger on (maybe the malt or fig?).

M - Thick and chewy with a reasonable amount of tingle.

O - Interestingly complex. It's a nice change up to bourbon barrel stouts, and better than many of them. Deschutes makes one of the best porters even better. Glad I was able to get a 25th anniversary and have the patience to wait until after the best buy date (that's tough). Prost!

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Black Butte XXV pours a black color with a very small almost non existent head. There is a very warm and sharp aroma with notes of figs, chocolate and vanilla. The taste has a dry frutiy flavor, with bold chocolate and vanilla flavors. Good flavors, very nice warmth at the end. Overall a complex and very flavorful porter.

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Photo of timc100
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hit quota - enjoying a nice one. Right at the best at date.

Looks like an imperial porter - dark brown, sits black in the glass with a nice creamy burnt mocha head - minimal lacing, big barreled bubbles. Dark fruits dominate - fig, date, tanginess and sweetness. Get some of the oak coming through - some charred dark chocolate, vanilla oak sweetness. Kicks with some cocoa powder and dark fruit tang on the finish and some nice heat. Mouthfeel is great - supports all the flavors.

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Photo of utfiero
3.39/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color- near black. Full dark cappuccino head.

Aroma- Christmas cake soaked in brandy, with notes of rum raisin ice cream.

Taste- A rich desert beer. Starts rich and sweet with overripe pear mellowed by hints of vanilla (probably from the bourbon barrel aging) finishing with an imperial stout roasty cocoa finish. Too sweet and strong ("hot" alcohol esters) for everyday drinking. This is best saved as a wintertime aperitif or survival beer if you're stuck in an ice cave.

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted on 10/19/2013.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours pitch black in color with a small to medium sized head that retains very well. The lacing on this beer is a superb wall of foam. The darkness of the body is complete, as no light escapes. This is a really good looking imperial porter.

S- Dark malts and a slight fruitiness are the foremost and prominent scents of this beer. Figs and just a touch of the black currant are evident pretty readily in the scent, but without being overpowering at all. Chocolate and vanilla scents hit you at the end with just the slightest touch of bourbon barrel mixed in.

T- Starts off dark and fruity from the start, just like the smell. Currant and fig combine with a really dark chocolate flavor to make a very dark and fruity flavor overall. The chocolate sticks around through the end of the drink and begins to mix with just a little vanilla and barrel spice before the lingering flavor on the tongue is dark malt.

M- Thick and creamy across the tongue, this beer is smooth as hell. There is no detectable alcohol, making this a dangerously drinkable dark beer. Simply smooth, rich, creamy, and delicious.

Overall, a complex and delicious take on an imperial porter. Dark fruits and chocolate combined with the slight barrel flavors make a freaking awesome beer.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer is near black with an inch of beige head. The aroma brings roast, chocolate, honey, oak, vanilla. A lot of char in the flavor with formidable bitterness in the finish. Honey sweetness and boozy vanilla. A tad tannic. Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Pretty good.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown black color with a nice light brown head and good lacing

S-dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, bourbon, earthy

T-dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, raisins, figs, bourbon, coffee, light char, molasses

F-medium to full body with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-great range of flavors and well-balanced, a tad on the sweet side for me, but a terrific Imperial Porter nonetheless

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Photo of barnzy78
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best after 6/11/14. I guess I cracked this a little early.
L - near black, foamy tan head
S - rich aroma of cocoa, fig, date, currant, roast; bourbon really dominates as it warms
T - rich again, chocolate, dark fruits, fig, currant, raisin, oak, vanilla, bourbon, booze
F - full body, boozy
O - just as good as I anticipated. Nice treat.

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Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bomber bottle. Dark red-brown clear but near opaque.thin head.

Moderate level of BBL effect.
Wonderful aroma is fruity with bourbon and a hint of sherry.
Rich flavor adds dates and a bit of berry flavor.
Medium-full body with appropriate light carbonation.

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Photo of bnes09
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jet black ale. Cream colored head on top. Decent retention.

Big roasted nose of espresso with lots of dark fruits, primarily black currants.

Plenty of roasted flavor, mostly espresso and dark chocolate. Dark fruit sweetness, dates raisins and black currants. Hint of bourbon oak. Mild earthy, lady hop bitterness. Well balanced.

Froth is the first thing to hit the lips with an ultra creamy texture. Dense, full bodied brew with a near syrupy texture throughout. Finished on the tart side.

Overall, a very well done flavored, barrel aged porter.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz. waxed and capped bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a .5 finger light mocha colored head with moderate retention. Lacing is thick and layered with excellent stick and huge legs. Beer is pitch black. Menacing and inviting at the same time.

Nose is fig, sweet soy sauce, roasted malt, chocolate, cocoa powder and leather with a slight hint of booziness. Real rich and deep.

Opens fig, dates, black strap molasses and sweet soy sauce. Some chocolate and roasted malt enter towards the middle with a light bitterness and a boozy tickle. Ends leather, chocolate, booze, and more dark fruit. Finishes sweet with some liquorice and more dark fruit in the aftertaste. Delicious!

Full bodied with low carbonation. Thick and viscous in the mouth and goes down warm and smooth. Messy finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Chewy too. Supports the flavor very well.

A really underrated beer that gets better and better with every passing year that its made. Certainly worthy as a celebratory 25th anniversary beer.

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Photo of peensteen
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nearly jet black, ring of tan head, some lace as well. Smell is full of liquorice and a deep near char roast, dark fruit and oak, some light bourbon as well as some vanilla. Taste follows the nose liquorice, herbal anise, roasted malts, coffee, bourbon comes across stronger on the palate than in the nose, vanilla, dark fruits into the finish with more roast and coffee. Good mouthfeel, lightly carbonated, med-full chewy body. Solid stuff here, probably the most enjoyable of the 3 anniversary Black Butte's I have had.

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Photo of OneEye78
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a mason jar pint glass. Dark black/brown with very little khaki head. Smelled of figs and black currant and a hint of bourbon. The taste starts a sour sweet, almost pear like with an extrememly smooth finish of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Pretty light in the mouth, especially for the high ABV, almost too easy to drink. Overall, I was very impressed. Lots of character and complexity. It had the expected Porter characteristics with a bevy of additional flavors. Truly one of my favorites.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with thin white head. Nose is bourbon forward with oak, heavy whiskey, light chocolate, and significant booziness. Taste is similar to the nose. Starts with some dark fruit, light chocolate, and heavy spirit character. The bourbon brings forth some vanilla, harsh oak, a bit of booziness, along with chocolate and mild roast. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin with mellow carbonation. Overall, lots of flavor but slightly lacing in body.

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Photo of beergoot
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Near opaque and black body with a one-finger thick light tan, rich and foamy head; dripping sheets of foam on the inside of the glass. Deep, rich chocolate; cocoa; deep, fruity esters in the aroma. Flavor consists of a rich concoction of dark roasted malts, cocoa, the twangy edge of wood infused with bourbon (I believe this is a bourbon barrel-aged bottling); traces of coffee with a nice alcohol subtext and some deep-rooted hop bitterness beneath the surface. Heavy bodied; smooth and silky mouthfeel; semi-dry at the finish.

I don't know how this would have tasted if I drank it a year earlier, but aging certainly hasn't detracted from being thoroughly enjoyable at this stage of its existence. It's packed with a deep, rich, chewy dark ale character complemented with a slightly tart and fruity sub-character. Bold and complex throughout. Perhaps it will make another welcome appearance on down the road...

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I hate waiting for the best after date but it is always well worth it. Having had this in Dec. I can say I enjoy this more now.

Small amount of tan head slowly rises up above a dark body. Leaves some splotchy lace. Head lasts forever.

The currants play a big role. More dark fruit from the additions and probably malt as well with fig and plum. Chocolate and some coffee. Nice vanilla imparted from the barrel and a touch of bourbon.

Lots of fruitiness going on with some tangy currant, blackberry, dark cherry, fig, coffee roastiness, dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon. Its a little sweet and a little warm which compliment very nicely.

Heavy medium body. Fairly smooth with a medium carbonation.

Everything is fairly well integrated at this point in the beer. Very delicious and hard to put down.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Looking forward to this!

Appearance: extremely dark ruby-brown; not quite black, as deep red highlights show when held up to the light. Head is a thick finger of frothy tan foam with good retention and a smooth lace. Quite attractive indeed.

Smell: rich roastiness with a big yeasty quality and a fair amount of fruitiness. Dates, cherries, vanilla, black raspberries -- it's all there. Complex.

Taste: big and fruity. There's cherry, toffee, dates and vanilla. A little woody, with a big alcoholic fruit contribution. That said, it's a little sweet and over-done, in my opinion, but still quite good.

Mouthfeel: rich body with a well-integrated carbonation and a big, smooth creaminess. Silky smooth but with body to spare. I quite like it indeed.

Overall: too, too drinkable for a beer with more than 11% ABV -- this is like a port, here! Goodness.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to eyebereej for sending this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into a Guinness pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown to black, nearly opaque, with a thin tan head and minimal visible carbonation.

S: Chocolate, roastiness, barrel oak, dark fruit, with booze and sweetness, both in moderation.

T: Dark chocolate, moderate booze and dark fruits (raisins, figs and plums), oak with a nice vanilla character, and deep roasted malts. Sweetness with a touch of roasted bitterness in the hang.

M: Full mouthfeel, heavy thick body. Low carbonation sensation, and the alcohol is noticeable but not at all a "hot" impression.

O: I thought this was really excellent. An improvement over what I remember last year's being. Very recommended.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best after June 10, 2014. I'm afraid I will not be following that advice.

The beer is black with a small to moderately-sized tan head. Head fades at a fair pace.

Bourbon is quite prominent in the nose, despite only half of the base beer being barrel aged. Creamy chocolate and roast scents accompany it. Notes of dark fruit are there as well, presumably the dates, figs and/or black currants.

Taste is very good. A balanced mix of all elements in the beer, as the aroma suggested. Bourbon is there but not particuarly strong. The dominant flavour is really the base beer, with the cocoa nibs making themselves known. Chocolate is prominent, with dark fruit flavours there as well. A bit of oak. The bourbon is notable in the finish, with a bit of a sticky, boozy residue.

Full bodied, moderate to high carbonation. A bit sticky.

Overall, very good. Very happy to have got the chance to try this one.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

bottle generously gotanpickedupformebro by my man rathakem (thank you for all you do!). enjoyed from a deschutes teku.

a - brew pours a watery black with a generous cream colored head that leaves massive streaky chunks all over the glass as it dissolves.

s - nose is really nice. soft roast with some berry sweetness and a hint of wood. dates and figs come out with the chocolate.

t - taste is spot on and picks up where the nose leaves off. really well balanced with a touch of bourbon glazed over a nice full bodied chocolate porter. booze soaked chocolate covered fruit. really nice.

m - the mouth sticks out to me because it only shows a hint of porter char and comes across more of a stout which is a plus for me. fairly full bodied for the style, but not too roasty and with a good mix of chocolate and dark fruit.

o - overall, one of the better of recent anniversary beers from deschutes. although i'm a proclaimed fanboy of the brewery, this one really helps to reinforce my love for this brewery. now if only they would start distributing to NY (PLEASE!!!!)

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Photo of Jeffo
4.01/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got this one from Rutager a while back. Thanks again for the awesome exchange man!

From a bomber into a snifter
Best after 10 June 2014
50% aged in bourbon barrels
Dates, figs & cocoa nibs added and 12.5% with black currants added

APPEARANCE: Clear brown pour yields a three finger, medium-thick, fluffy looking, light tan head with excellent retention. Clear dark brown body with lower levels of carbonation. Head eventually fades to a full cap and clings to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains leaving lots of beautiful lacing down the glass. Great looking porter for sure.

SMELL: Dark grains, caramel, figs, dark, dried fruits and light chocolate notes. Hints of bourbon qualities, but not much. Medium strength and well balanced; nothing overpowers, but nothing really stands out as being special.

TASTE: Dark malts, caramel and figs with dark, dried fruits up front. Flavorful, with a big finish of dried fruits, dark caramel malts, bitter dark chocolate and some nice bourbon and vanilla, sweet cream notes from the aging. Pretty nice stuff.

PALATE: Fuller body and medium of carbonation. Lots of weight, thick and slick on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky. Heavy, thick, full, silky smooth with no heat at all. Phenomenal stuff.

OVERALL: Really good and very well executed. Not sure if the flavor is exactly what I'm looking for in a porter, but it's certainly nicely balanced and put together really well. Good look on it with a feel for a king as well. Wonderful stuff. Give it a shot if you have access to it; would gladly have another to save until after the best after date. Recommended.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow... Silky like a ghost, but I'm not scared. Light and airy like Miranda Kerr's breakfast, but this is actually flavorful. Rich and robust chocolate and dark fruits like it should be done. A lil sweet, but hey, sometimes your grandmama pinch your cheeks.

Feelin' it hard, feelin' it good and feelin' it well.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Black, with traces of tan. 1/2 inch foamy head and nice lacing.

Smell - Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee. Some sour fruits, a little oak, and vanilla.

Taste - Starts off with the malts and chocolate, then a sour/bitter flavor comes in. Lots of fig, raisin and plum mixed with bitter coffee and oak. Currant really adds the sour flavor. Vanilla is smooth but not dominate in flavor. Some warmth from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Tongue gets the smokey notes, then gets lots of sour from the coffee and currants. Palate gets a lot of the same flavors, and even more dark fruits. Alcohol is noticeable in the finish. Aftertaste is bitter/sour and warm.

Overall - Very different, lots of flavor, and fun to drink. The addition of the dark fruits mixed with the coffee and such makes this closer to a black ale/ipa then a porter to me. I could have done without the currant to tone down the sour some. Still, a good drink and glad I got to try it.

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Black Butte XXV (25th Birthday Reserve) from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.